your fourth dead body (20180521)

your fourth dead body
lies in state on sunday
on pillars before a home
a house on a busy main street
still sleepy on sunday afternoon
not a funeral home
just a house and no crowd of mourners
but three modestly
well-dressed people
gathered behind the coffin

it’s a few blocks
from that taco shop you want to try

post obedience
involuntary body viewing
the second time
you have been surprised
by a corpse

the grass is green
cut short at the house
clouds part by the hand of god
like god is karate chopping the sky
the opening reveals a sky bluer
than the ache that
lives in your bones
creates a vacuum
the clouds refuse to rush back in
instead the heavens suck the air
out of your lungs

you are too far away to see details
of the face
but the sun reflects
off a brown forehead
you can smell pomade
thick massaged into black
permanently styled hair
what you took for beads of sweat
is mortician’s wax
pilling on skin
that will not ever sweat

you have stopped breathing
your breath has fled
like a soul on the lam

a police car pulls up to the curb
maybe to ask
why they have a body on their lawn
why the casket is open
why the corpse is sweating
why can you smell it

why are cops who have gathered
around the corner
laughing with each other
like one just told a joke

traffic lets you move
and you breathe
and the body in the casket
does not

tin toy (20160731)

step one is inserting the key
in the back
and having someone wind you up
every goddamned day
tighten that spring
so you have enough energy
to make it
until the next wind up

i don’t know who designed us
to have these holes
in our backs
when the holes are in our hearts

and when will the key fit into my chest
so i can wind it myself

or not

Poem 20160215b

these days
it seems like every day is a sunday
slow to get started
without the hope of a friday
without the promise of a saturday
without even the grim potential of a monday morning

and there are only so many times
you can attempt the crossword puzzle
only so many times you can erase
–you were so careful, using pencil
—-you heard that true confidence was
using a pen to fill out a crossword
——you don’t have that kind of confidence

only so many times you can linger
over breakfast
–oh god, what about a poached egg
—-does anyone really like them
——you could never make them without breaking them

sunday every day sunday stretching on